Peer Mentorship Program

Apply to be a Student Parent Mentor/Leader!

Are you a student with family responsibilities juggling family life and studies? Are you going to be at U of T for a year in September 2019? Become a mentor/leader and share your strategies and insights with your peers. This activity will officially recognize your involvement outside the classroom as a significant part of your U of T experience and skills you have developed!

If you are ineligible, please consider other U of T mentorship programs available at the Mentorship Resource Centre.

Please fill out an application form and return it to family.care@utoronto.ca by August 23, 2019.

Download application form FCO Parent Peer Mentorship FAQ

Training and time commitment:

Mentors/Ambassadors commit to attending a training session before the school year starts, one-on-one meetings with their mentees, and social events for a total commitment of just over 10 hours from September to March as detailed below. Mentors/Ambassadors are always asked whether they can take a mentee or not before being assigned one.

Student parent mentors will:

  • Commit about 2 hours to mentoring student parents from September to March (in person, by email, phone, messaging or Skype), with the possibility of extending this commitment if the mentor so desires.
  • Let the Coordinator know about possible periods when not available during the year.
  • Commit to approximately eight hours for events and training as outlined below:
    • A 2½-hour training session
    • The Family Care Office Orientation for Students with Family Responsibilities
    • At least two more events in the fall term and winter terms, to choose from one social at the beginning of the fall, other events in the winter term,  family & outreach events.

The Student Parent Mentorship Program is an approved activity for the Co-Curricular Record (CCR). In order for your volunteer work as a Student Parent Mentor to be recognized on the CCR you must complete the activities as outlined for the program, and you will be required to submit a self-reflection piece at the end of the academic year.

For further information on the program, please view the Information Guide.

FCO Parent Peer Mentorship – FAQ

1. What are the benefits of becoming a mentee?
Meeting a student parent who has experience navigating the university and building a support system are important benefits you can enjoy as a mentee in the U of T Family Care Office. The life of a student is hectic and stressful, and it can be yet more complicated for student parents working to balance family and school life. Being a parent often means having to deal with unexpected family emergencies, juggling multiple responsibilities at home and sometimes working with flexible schedules. For incoming students, connecting with a student parent mentor can ease the transition to school life. For all student parents, being a mentee is a great way to learn coping strategies and to feel supported.

2. How do I know my mentor and I will be a good match?
We request that mentors are at least in their second year at U of T. Our goal is to ensure that our peer mentors are able to provide support to new mentees. We do our best to match their experience as student parents with mentees who have similar profiles (i.e. faculty, age of children, grad/undergrad). All of our mentors receive training and ongoing support from our FCO staff. In any case, if a match is not satisfactory, mentees and mentors can communicate that to the office and another mentor will be arranged.

3. How do I become a mentee?
Becoming a mentee is easy! Send us an e-mail with your request. In order to better match you with a mentor, we need to know the program/year you are enrolled in, the age of your children, and the main reason you need a mentor.

4. I want to join your Peer Mentorship Program, but I am afraid I won’t have enough time.
We understand that life as a student with family responsibilities is hectic and for that reason we have ensured that our mentorship program aligns with these demands. We encourage mentors and mentees to use communication methods that best work with their needs and are agreed upon by both, from e-mails and phone calls to a brief meeting at a café, and as many interactions as you see fit. Whatever works for you and your mentor.

Why get a mentor

Does it seem like you are the only student on campus with family responsibilities?

A mentor can share with you valuable tips and candid advice to help you balance the demands of caring for children with academic commitments in a safe and supportive environment. You may want to connect with a mentor to chat about:

  • Strategies and insights on caring for a family member
  • A specific question on child care
  • Your newly found pregnancy and a possible leave from your studies

Does it sound like more work and time consuming?

We understand your busy life! You and the peer mentor can choose the best way to communicate; you are the one choosing the duration of the interaction: it can be once from 10 minutes to as many – and for how long – you determine. Our mentors are available to connect with you on a variety of dates and times.

How to get a mentor

Send us an email at family.care@utoronto.ca and we will assign a mentor to you, matching your situation as best as possible.

Who are our mentors

Our peer mentors are University of Toronto students from diverse backgrounds – men and women, undergraduates and graduates. Some had children before starting their program at U of T and some during their studies here.

Questions?

Please feel free to email family.care@utoronto.ca if you have any questions or call 416.978.0951.